Commentary: This heart won’t start itself

John F. Kennedy said that “one person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” Here in the midst CPR Awareness Week, that truth rings for each of us.

As vice president, Medical Affairs here at Bayhealth Medical Center, helping in a crisis is what we do – it is one of the key reasons we exist. Even when the crisis starts outside of our walls. We are part of the same community, and we are working to help any heart that stops beating a chance to restart.

People often don’t realize the need for CPR out in the community. Each year more than 350,000 Americans suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, with nearly 90 percent of them fatal. The good news is that chances of survival can double or triple if bystander CPR is immediately performed.

Dr. Eric Gloss

What does that mean? What do YOU need to do?

Too often – in more than half of those 350,000 cardiac arrests – no one delivers the simple, effective and life-saving tool of CPR. Here’s the deal – that heart won’t start itself. Someone needs to intervene – and that someone may need to be you.

• Come to a class at our hospital or through the American Heart Association training network (link)

• Go online and learn Hands-Only CPR for free

• Share the word that you are CPR trained and your family, friends and neighbors should be too.

The American Heart Association has a way for virtually everyone to learn CPR. And here at Bayhealth Medical Center, we are working to make sure everyone does. Join us in learning the simple, life-saving skills that can make a difference to the hundreds of thousands of Americans whose heart needs a restart each year.

We need you. You are part of our team. Bayhealth Medical Center, the American Heart Association and you. The American Heart Association is the worldwide leader in first aid, CPR and AED training – educating more than 22 million people around the globe each year.

Because if it is your loved one that goes down in a grocery store, your sister at the park, your best friend at the movie theatre — know you can help in the minutes that it takes emergency services to respond. And we want to be ready if it is your heart that stops too. Because we know – this heart won’t start itself.

Dr. Eric Gloss is vice president, Medical Affairs of Bayhealth Medical Center and a member of the Southern Delaware American Heart Association Board of Directors.

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